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December 21. 2012 7:43PM

Crown Royal announces donation to New Hampshire nonprofit

BEDFORD - A New Hampshire-based organization dedicated to sending care packages to soldiers overseas is receiving an unexpected Christmas gift from an unusual entity.

Crown Royal has offered to donate 25 cents for every bottle of whiskey sold in November and December, up to $10,000, to MooreMart, a local nonprofit organization founded by a Bedford man and his sister.

"We are so grateful to them," said Carole Biggio, co-founder of MooreMart. "They are a big supporter of the troops, so this is a really exciting initiative for us."

MooreMart is a nonprofit organization that typically sends about 1,800 care packages to New Hampshire troops every 10 weeks. More than 50,000 MooreMart care packages and more than four tons of relief supplies have been shipped to the Middle East to help schools, clinics and orphanages through the MooreMart initiative.

It costs a lot of money to ship all of the packages overseas, said Biggio, and the money donated by Crown Royal at the end of the year will be used to help offset some of those shipping costs.

It was about five years ago when MooreMart received its first request from a soldier for the well-known purple velvet Crown Royal bags used to store the whiskey bottles.

"We definitely thought it was a strange request at the time," said Biggio, adding it didn't take long for her organization to learn that soldiers were using the soft, drawstring bags to store, carry and clean their night-vision goggles.

The bags are an ideal size to keep the goggles protected, explained Biggio, adding MooreMart has since collected and shipped more than 4,200 Crown Royal bags to soldiers serving in the Middle East.

MooreMart, in conjunction with the local community and area American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars groups, have been collecting the bags for about five years.

Although most New Hampshire troops have returned home, Paul Moore, co-founder of MooreMart, said previously that his organization continues to receive requests from different units being deployed throughout the nation. The care packages are personally prepared and custom packed for individual requests, and it takes dozens of volunteers to help coordinate all of the boxes.

MooreMart's next packing event will take place Feb. 14-16 at the U.S. Army National Guard Armory in Nashua.

khoughton@newstote.com


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